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Tech bridging staffing gaps in healthcare

Tech solutions addressing the healthcare staffing crisis must be implemented carefully and with consideration to patients and providers.
By admin
Jun 6, 2023, 2:32 PM

Technological advancements have become increasingly essential in addressing staffing shortages within healthcare and hospital systems. These innovative solutions offer effective ways to alleviate the burdens on overworked healthcare professionals, improve patient care, and optimize operational efficiency, but they need to be balanced with patient and provider experiences

“We need to tread carefully to make sure we’re using tech in the right way – the right place, right time,” said Joe Grinstead, executive vice president of delivery at Divurgent. “Not everybody, including caregivers and patients, is ready to have tech injected in their care experience, and that’s okay.”

Grinstead proposes approaching technological implementation using the “80/20 rule.” If 80% would prefer to use technology, like medical chatbots and online appointment schedulers, then that should be available for them. With tech alleviating some of the workload, healthcare professionals are more able to “focus on the 20% and give them the help they want and deserve in the way that they want to get it.”

The best possible tech implementation occurs when technology brings satisfaction to both patients and providers and when technology “helps clinicians work at the top of their license.”

Evaluating tech solutions with these goals in mind ensures efficient and effective use of technology to enhance patient care while reducing the burden on healthcare professionals.

Avasure is a company that is leveraging camera technology to help hospitals overcome staffing shortages and enhance patient care. Their technology enables virtual sitters and nurses to monitor and communicate with patients using a camera, monitor, microphone, and speaker setup to address patient inquiries, provide information, and answer questions.

By strategically putting administrative work in the hands of virtual sitters and nurses, Avasure enables virtual round-the-clock monitoring and assistance, effectively extending the reach of healthcare staff.

“One area where this technology really shines in an acute care setting is the discharge process. Nurses need to go over discharge details — medications, follow-up care, and similar info. But that’s stuff the on-site nurse doesn’t necessarily have to do.”

If lengthy discharge processes can be handled by a virtual nurse or maybe, one day, an AI-enabled virtual nurse, then in-person nurses can focus their time doing hands-on patient care like starting an IV or dressing a wound.

This type of technology allows virtual nurses to take care of the lengthy discharge process that often makes patients wait and hospital bed turnover lag.

“We have a capacity issue in healthcare, both a brick-and-mortar problem and also a staffing problem,” said Grinstead. Technology solutions like these satisfy both the patient and provider because patients get what they need faster, and hospitals can operate more efficiently.

Such solutions couldn’t come at a better time. Within the next year, one out of every three registered nurses who directly care for patients may choose to resign from their positions, according to a recent survey. At present, numerous nurses are departing from bedside care due to burnout and frustration, but Grinstead remains optimistic.

“I don’t think tech will totally solve it, but I think it will take the edge off.”

Related content: Supercharging digital health strategies – FREE white paper

Divurgent is a solutions provider committed to healthcare IT evolution, and the strategies and processes that make it possible. It helps hospitals, health systems, and affiliated providers with payment and delivery reform, operational efficiency, patient engagement, and raising the quality and lowering the cost of care to improve outcomes towards healthier communities.

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